Friday, July 25, 2008

Medora, the 4th of July & the Medora Musical

The town of Medora sits at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

“The population was 100 at the 2000 census. Medora was founded in 1883 by French nobleman Marquis de Mores who named the city after his wife Medora von Hoffman. Marquis de Mores wanted to ship refrigerated meat to Chicago via the railroad. He built a meat packing plant for this purpose and a house named the Chateau de Mores, which is now a museum.[4] The city of Medora is also home to the popular Medora Musical and the city has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.” [This quote is directly off Wikipedia.]

What we find interesting is the town has its own post office, a sheriff’s car, several restaurants & a couple of bars, but no grocery stores & no funeral parlor. This leads me to think possibly you don’t have to prepare meals and you’d better die elsewhere! We actually speak to a few people who claim to be year around residents, but we're guessing there are more coyotes than people in winter.

Let the parade begin!
On July 4th, the town goes all out for the annual parade. It lasts about 40 minutes, and gives everyone a chance to show off their “toys.” Horses, bicycles, & antique cars are dressed to the nines, and they even have a float for the Medora Musical with the entertainers singing to the crowds.
Enjoying music from the entertainers
What's a parade without a stage coach?
Don't forget the shiny new tri-bike
The big attraction throughout the state is the Medora Musical. The town built a very large amphitheater & stages the musical during the summer months. People come from all over the state to see the musical, which changes each year. Basically it is the story of the history of the town and how Theodore Roosevelt once owned the Elk Horn Ranch, about thirty-five miles north of town. His cabin has been removed from the original site, residing in several places, but has finally found its way back to the National Park bearing his name.
The actual cabin from the Elk Horn Ranch
Interior view of Bob standing stove-side
T.R.'s actual chest
Just prior to the evening musical, the town prepares their famous Pitch Fork Fondue. Trust us, if you are ever in the area, pass on this feast. Buy tickets for the buffet only. The smell of the oil turns off my appetite while waiting in line. I saved my “meal” for the kitties, who seemed to enjoy it, carnivores all. Bob manages to choke his down!
This is the real deal - a pitchfork fondue!
View of the amplitheater while waiting in line

View beyond the amplitheater
The musical is great fun, however, and the view of the badlands through the stage magical. We even see a few lights as dusk turns to dark. Professional singers come from the nearby states to fill in the lead rolls, but Broadway will have to wait.
Waiting for the show to begin

Kicking up their heels & singing their hearts out

Coming up - Knife River Indian Village near Bismarck, ND

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